Dr John Penney (Chairman), Emeritus Fellow, Wolfson College
Mr Dionysis Kapsalis, Director of the Cultural Foundation of the National Bank of Greece
Dr Stavroula Pipyrou, Department of Social Anthropology, University of St Andrews
Peter Frankopan, Professor of Global History, Oxford University
John Penney read Greats at Oxford, subsequently specialising in Comparative Philology and writing a doctoral thesis on patterns of vowel alternation in Greek and Indo-European. For 40 years he held the post of University Lecturer in Classical Philology at Oxford, becoming a fellow of Wolfson College (where he held at various times the posts of Secretary to the Governing Body, Senior Tutor and Vice-Gerent). Now retired, he remains an Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College, and within the Faculty of Classics still takes reading classes in Ancient Greek literature, as well as teaching regularly at the JACT Ancient Greek Summer School in Dorset. He first visited Greece in 1964 and has since travelled extensively in both Greece and Turkey, acquiring a first-hand knowledge of many archaeological sites and also becoming increasingly fascinated by the more recent history of the region. He lives in Oxford and his other interests include opera and the history of architecture.
Dionysis Kapsalis studied classical and English literature at Georgetown University in Washington. D.C. (1970-1974) and Modern Greek literature at King’s College, London (1981-1984), where he also taught for two years. From 1986 to 1997 he worked as an editor for Estia Publications. He has been working for the National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation since 1998, occupying the position of director since 1999. He has published eighteen books on poetry, six volumes of essays and various translations of poetry (a selection of sonnets by Shakespeare, poems by Emily Dickinson, haiku by Issa and Basho, etc.) He has translated Beckett’s Happy Days for the state as well as Shakespeare’s plays Romeo and Juliet, Othello and King Lear.
Stavroula Pipyrou is a social anthropologist specializing on the Greek Linguistic Minority of Calabria. In her first monograph The Grecanici of Southern Italy: Governance, Violence, and Minority Politics Stavroula argues for a theory of ‘fearless governance’, a system of representation that enables the minority to intersect with local, national, and global networks. Stavroula has published extensively on irony, secondhand clothes markets and civil society (Italy) as well as dance, performance, Pontian refugee identity, and death (Greece). She is currently working on a project on child-displacement during cold war Italy. Stavroula is the Founding Director of the Centre for Minorities Research at St Andrews, an interdisciplinary platform aimed at comprehensively researching the complex challenges facing minorities in Scotland and beyond.
She has collaborated with Jane Pettegree (Department of Music, St Andrews) in choreographing Gluck’s opera Iphigenia in Tauris. Stavroula lives and works in St Andrews and is passionate about the poetry of Tasos Leivaditis.
Peter Frankopan is Professor of Global History at Oxford University. Since 2000, he has been Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College Oxford. He is Director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research.
He works on the history of trade, religion, ideas and culture across Europe and Asia, with a particular focus on the Byzantine empire and on the Silk Roads of then past, present and future. His translation of the The Alexiad by Anna Komnene was published by Penguin Classics in 2009.
His most recent book, The Silk Roads: A New History of the World has been described as ‘magnificent’ (Sunday Times) ‘ dazzling’ (Guardian), ‘a rare book that makes you question your assumptions about the world’ (Wall St Journal) and ‘not just the most important history book in years, but the most important in decades’ (Berliner Zeitung).